Are developers welcome to work from coffee shops?

It depends! I don’t think we are welcome in Big Cities any more in Coffee shops but there are alternatives.

During the last holiday (4th of July), I visited a coffee shop in Belo Horizonte, and I was planning to work for a couple of hours from there. I ended up going back to my house because I did not feel welcome to work from there. It does not seem like this is only happening in Brazil in Europe I have seen people complaining more than once.

The situation is quite different in small cities, though. When I lived in small cities like Luz-MG and Paraiso-MG, where business owners seemed to enjoy having people working there. We would spend 10 or 20 USD and work for 2 or 3 hours, usually very productive hours. People would often ask me about the work and what was I doing and show interest and even offer WIFI (most of the time I don’t ask for WIFI because I prefer to work from my 4G connections).

In big cities like Belo Horizonte, the owners don’t even make Wi-Fi available anymore, and I can only interpret that as not welcoming remote workers. I don’t blame them; in big cities, people often take advantage of these owners by buying coffee and working there for many hours, which ends up not being worth it for the coffee shops.

In small cities, it is common for coffee shops to be nearly empty for long periods of the day, so the owners are happy to have people working there, spending money, and keeping the places moving. In big cities, the problem is the opposite. They are usually full, and the owners want to keep the tables moving, so they don’t want people working using the tables that could be serving the next customer.

Where should we work from then?

The alternative is to work from co-working spaces made for that purpose, where remote workers will be much more welcome. In BH, there are many alternatives, such as WeWork, Regus, and Impact Hub. I have worked in all of those places, and they are great places to work from. The cost is not that high, usually between 10 and 20 USD per day, and more offer free coffee (An awful coffee, but it is free).


I love to change the place where I work and I think it improves my productivity when I move to different places. Nevertheless, I don’t want to be on a place where I am not welcome or that people think I am taking advantage of them. That is why I also choose to live in smaller cities where life it a calmer and where people doing business are more friendly and welcoming.

Most business happens in Big cities, and I understand why people want to live there if their jobs require going to the office multiple times a day. But for remote workers, we have options. Small cities sometimes offer a better quality of life, a cheaper cost of living, and fewer grampy coffee shop owners. Maybe try that the next time you visit a place.

Written on July 10, 2024